Low Water Pressure Problems in Homes
Causes and Solutions
Low water pressure problems appear in different forms, and each comes with its own reason. At times, two different reasons are also behind the same water pressure problem. Whatever the problem or reason may be, low water pressure is very frustrating for daily household chores. From getting up in the morning to going to bed at night, we need good quality and a good flow of water all the time.
With reduced flow and low water pressure, your dishwasher might take an hour to wash a few dishes, and your washing machine might take more than an hour to run a single cycle. We often confuse one water pressure problem with another. The following guide presents a comprehensive mention of common water pressure problems, along with causes and potential solutions. Read on!
Most Common Water Pressure Problems
The most common water pressure problems are related to plumbing issues such as pipes and fixtures. Getting to know such water pressure problems can help you identify one in your plumbing. The list includes:
1. Faulty fixture/hardware
The very first problem is a faulty fixture or hardware. When showerheads and faucets become too old, they accumulate in rust, dirt, and limestone. This reduces the flow and also impacts water quality badly. To find out a faulty fixture, turn each faucet on one by one. It brings out the defective one.
2. Closed shut-off water valves
Out of the two shut-off valves in your home, one might be closed or not completely opened. This also leads to low water pressure. Check if there is a closed valve. If not, you can gently turn the valve back and forth to remove any sediment and get full water pressure.
3. Clogging and corrosion in water pipes
This is a problem and the cause as well. When clogging or corrosion takes place in water pipes, water flow automatically reduces. Usually, it happens in galvanized pipes that have been installed for a long time.
4. Pressure regulator failure
If the plumbing system comes with a pressure regulator, its failure can result in low water pressure. Know that the failure either leads to excessive water pressure or not at all. You can simply fix this by replacing the pressure regulator with a new one.
Other most common low water pressure problems include poor-quality water coming from the mains supply that clogs your pipes and insufficient size of your main supply line.
Causes of Low Water Pressure
There can be various causes of low water pressure that make you experience the water mentioned above pressure problems. The three major causes include:
A single millimeter leak in any of your home plumbing system can result in loss of normal water pressure. Over time, pipes do crack and cause hindrance to the water reaching the turned-on tap.
It is often difficult to check for leaks in the complex plumbing system, especially if you have no know-how of plumbing. However, the homes that have installed digital water meters can instantly know about leaks through leak indicator.
If not, here is an easy step-by-step way to check if there are any leaks in pipes:
- Turn all the water taps off and note the reading on a water meter
- Wait for 20 to 45 minutes and do not use any water in between
- Recheck the reading on the meter to see if it has changed
When the number of gallons changed, even with all the taps off, there must be a leak in the plumbing pipes.
If you are experiencing low water pressure in one area only, a clogged aerator is a potential cause. You can easily check it up and remove any such faulty parts.
Usually, dirt, sand, gravel, or other material might get stuck in the aerator of your faucet. This results in a clogged aerator, and you receive low water pressure. However, if you do not observe any obvious clogging, the chances are that your plumbing system is facing hard water problems.
Hard water results in poor functioning of an aerator are due to harmful chemicals and minerals. So checking for fixtures and getting them cleaned can help.
This is the most common reason behind low water pressure at home. When the plumbing system gets too old and is never given a maintenance check, sediment starts building up. Sediment buildup usually takes place due to hard water.
With these causes of low water pressure in mind, you can look for potential solutions.
Determining Low Water Pressure Problems in Your Home
Determining low water pressure problems in your home is no less than a challenge. With no visible or obvious reason, you might need to go for a professional check. Hiring plumbers can do the job.
But if you want to determine on your own, the following are some major checks to do:
- Check both shut-off valves to make sure they are open
- Inspect a leak in the main water supply to your home
- Inspect pipes in basement and garage as that is where leaks occur the most
- Check your faucets and shower-heads to find a clogged aerator or nozzle
- Look for sediment buildup in pipes
These are some of the things you can do at a personal level to determine leaks, fixture issues, and sediment buildup. You are quite likely to come up with the problem and reason behind low water pressure on your own.
However, if you are unlucky, it might be due to some major plumbing problems in the entire system. Only professionals are equipped with tools for determining low water pressure problems in your home. Before it’s too late, get in touch with a professional. Delaying such water pressure problems results in faulty plumbing, pipe replacements need and increased costs.
Finding a Solid Solution to Low Water Pressure
It is difficult finding a solid solution to low water pressure in your home without professional help. If you like to do the homework, you can implement the following significant methods to find a potential solution on your own:
Installing aerator with a high rate of flow
Aerators installed in faucets come with different rates of flow. A number of households initially install low rate aerators to use minimum water. However, if that’s becoming too problematic for you, installing an aerator with a high rate of flow will do the job.
This simple replacement is easy to do yourself.
Try adjusting Pressure Reducing Valve (PRV)
Another good solution is to adjust the Pressure Reducing Valves (PRV) on the main water supply line entering your home. Usually, the PRV is kept loose to make homes receive less water pressure. Adjusting it helps you know if the water pressure problem is due to low pressure from the main supply line.
By turning it right in the clockwise direction, you can increase the water pressure and get rid of your low water pressure problems in a go. In case the valve is broken, replace it as soon as possible.
You can check out different Water Pressure Regulators at The Home Depot.
Replace toilet flapper
If leaks in the toilet are the reason behind water pressure problems, replacing a toilet flapper can be the ultimate solution to stop the wastage of water. Sometimes, the filling mechanism of toilets is also at fault. You can replace it to enjoy zero leaks and average water pressure.
So, finding a solid solution to low water pressure is not as challenging as it seems.
Troubleshoot Hot Water Low-Pressure Issue
Many households think about how they can troubleshoot hot water low-pressure issue. Know that if you only face low water pressure when you turn the hot water on, the problem might be with your geyser or water heater instead of a plumbing system.
Most of the time, the water heater shut-off valve is the main reason behind this problem. With a three-step action, you can troubleshoot hot water low-pressure issues in the water heater.
Make sure the shut-off valve is totally open. For emergency issues, each water heater comes with a shut-off valve. Even a slightly closed shut-off valve can cause a decrease in water pressure.
To see if step 1 has solved your problem, test your faucets. Run hot water through a faucet and check if you find a good water pressure. Most of the time, water lines into the water heater are the reason behind low hot water pressure.
Now that you need professional assistance, it’s time to seek professional help. Only a plumber can further troubleshoot hot water low-pressure issues as they have reliable and efficient means to check them.
It is also critical because working with water heaters can be quite unsafe. The best practice is to leave the job for the professional.
Low water pressure problems are becoming increasingly common nowadays. While the major reasons are old steel or galvanized pipes and reduced main supply, looking into the causes mentioned above might solve your problem. To enjoy reasonable water pressure, try troubleshooting problems on your own. If not, hiring a professional is the last and best resort!
If you have water pressure problems and need a professional to help you fix them, call us without any hesitation at (206) 799-3035 or fill out our online schedule service form to schedule your appointment. Baikal Services® will be happy to take care of this for you.